Donald Fagen’s Best Song On Each Of His Solo Albums

Donald Fagen's Best Songs

Feature Photo: Stephan Neuner, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

After covering the best song on every Steely Dan album, it just felt right to take a stroll over to Donald Fagen’s solo catalog. During the twenty years between Steely Dan albums, Donald Fagen kept Steely Dan fans happy with new material similar to the music they all grew up with during that great 70s run of Steely Dan albums. His first solo album The Nightfly was released only a year after Gaucho. Fans would have to wait another eleven years before the Kamakiriad follow-up was released in 1993.

DONALD FAGEN STUDIO ALBUMS

The Nightfly – New Frontier

I wonder how many people have heard this song over the years and thought it was a Steely Dan song? To most people, it can be really hard to distinguish between Steely Dan’s music and Donald Fagen’s solo albums, especially the first one. The big hit from the album was the lead single, “I.G.Y. (What a Beautiful World).” Nonetheless, the track that always resonated with me was “New Frontier,” the opening song on side two of the album. Released in 1982, this was a time before CDs had made their mark and when the future of music technology was still a mystery.

Kamakiriad – “Snowbound”

Kamakiriad was the second solo album by Donald Fagen. It was released in 1993. Im not sure why this was simply not called a Steely Dan album because Walter Beker played on every track.  It was a huge success for Donald. The album earned a nomination for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1994. The pick here is the cool, grooving song “Snowbound,” written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. This sounds like something that would have fit very nicely on the Gaucho album.  It was nice to have Steely Dan back again, even if they wouldn’t admit it.

Morph the Cat – “What I Do”

Hands down, “What I Do” is one of the best songs that Donald Fagen has ever released. It’s one of his strongest compositions, lyrically and musically. It is sentimental yet, of course, clever. The performance is laid back, but it’s in that groove style where Fagen really shines. On this one, Donald Fagen comes across cooler than Fonzie.

Sunken Condos –  “I’m Not The Same Without You”

This slick R&B-style tune from Donald Fagen should have been a big hit if we were living in an era when cool R&B tunes like this received the airplay they deserved. It’s hard to believe this is Fagen’s most recent solo album, and it’s already twelve years old. Additionally, it marks the last music Fagen has released in twelve years, with the previous Steely Dan album coming out twenty-one years ago in 2003.

For more Steely Dan and Donald Fagen solo articles, check out the links below…..

Donald Fagen’s Best Song On Each Of His Solo Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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